SM CEO accused Lee Soo Man of fraud, delaying aespa’s comeback, “colluding” with HYBE, casino and weed business plans

According to Lee Sung Soo, the acting CEO of SM Entertainment, there are various controversies regarding the company founder Lee Soo Man.

After SM Entertainment’s founder Lee Soo Man sold his 14.8% shares to HYBE Labels, the ongoing issues within SM have never failed to gain attention. However, controversies have exploded with a new video published by acting SM CEO Lee Sung Soo, who accused Lee Soo Man of various crimes, from fraud and tax evasion, to delaying aespa’s comeback and casino and weed business plans. 

Immense greed, taking thousands of billions of won from the company up until 2092

“Lee Soo Man established a company called ‘CT Planning Limited’ in Hong Kong in 2019 with a capital of 1 million US dollars. This is a 100% private company owned by Lee Soo Man, and is an ‘overseas version like planning’”, Lee Sung Soo said. 

Lee Sung Soo

The CEO also revealed that 6% of profits from contents of artists like WayV, SuperM, and aespa will be received by the company, namely Lee Soo Man himself. “Wasn’t this to avoid the surveillance of the National Tax Service by Lee Soo Man?”, Lee Sung Soo questioned, citing that this strange structure may be an offshore tax evasion tactic. 

In addition, the contract between SM and Lee Soo Man’s company was not properly recognized by the National Tax Service in 2014 or 2021. As a result, SM had to pay billions and tens of billions of dollars in taxes, as reported in the media.

Lee Soo Man

Moreover, Lee Soo Man’s greed knows no boundaries, according to the CEO. “Even after production ends, SM will pay Lee Soo Man 6% of previously released album-related sales for 70 years and 3% of management sales for 3 years from 2023”, he said, adding, “It is an estimated amount of up to 80 billion won.”

Delaying aespa’s comeback, tampering with NCT 127 and GOT the Beat’s music

In the same video, Lee Sung Soo revealed that Lee Soo Man “instructed aespa to sing a song with lyrics about a tree planting project that does not suit aespa at all.”

And aespa was not the only victim, according to Lee Sung Soo. Apparently, Lee Soo Man directed for various artists’ songs to include questionable messages related to ESG, which is short for Environment – Social – Governance, and a term related to business management. This can be seen in recent lyrics of SM artists, from special song “The Cure”, to NCT 127 and GOT the beat’s latest releases. 

aespa thumbnail
NCT thumbnail

“In some of the lyrics of the new song of aespa, words such as ‘just sustainability’, ‘lower by 1 degree’, and ‘greenism’ are integrated, and even the word ‘planting trees’ directly appears in the lyrics in the early stages. The members of aespa were upset and even emotionally upset,” said Lee Sung Soo.

Originally, aespa was scheduled to release a new album on February 20th, however, due to Lee Soo Man’s unreasonable instructions, it was decided that the release of the song should be canceled for the girl group’s sake. 

“That’s how aespa’s comeback was delayed”, he concluded. 

Aim to build a “Lee Soo Man reign” overseas with casinos and weed

At first glance, the tree-planting message comes across as positive, however, CEO Lee Sung Soo denounced it as a mask for Lee Soo Man’s real estate ambition to build a “Kpop empire” overseas. Lee Soo Man only wanted to use aespa as a vehicle for him to reach his purpose. Lee Soo Man wanted to build K-pop districts in foreign countries, including casinos and music festivals and legal spaces for marijuana consumption. 

lee soo man thumbnail

Lee Sung Soo revealed a “shocking” secret: “The management board and many artists have voiced their disagreement against the idea. Lee Soo Man wanted to use not only his private resources but also the company’s infrastructure to erect an “Lee Soo Man’s empire” across various countries.”

A secret collaboration with HYBE and strategy to manipulate his employees 

Lee Soo Man working with HYBE Labels was considered to “combat” against the alliance between SM Entertainment & Kakao, remove CEO Lee Sung Soo and Tak Young Joon as well as gain back management control and the chief producing role in the company. Nonetheless, HYBE announced they would respect SM’s “legacy” and promise to keep Lee Soo Man from resuming his position in SM. 

Lee Soo Man Bang Si Hyuk-thumbnail

However, CEO Lee Sung Soo exposed this to be a deception. Lee Soo Man was not allowed to produce albums in Korean for 3 years, but he still had the rights to produce in any other languages he wanted for SM companies, through his subsidiary Like Planning headquartered overseas. 

Moreover, Lee Soo Man also gave orders that SM artists and staff had to pretend in front of the public that they needed him and demanded the artists to sign contracts with CT Planning for all overseas promotional activities. He also pushed back the album release dates to the second half of the year to lower SM’s profit in the first quarter. 

Lee Sung Soo

At the end of the video, CEO Lee Sung Soo said this was only the first announcement and he would continue exposing Lee Soo Man in the next videos. 

Source: EDaily, EToday, Sports TV

Back to top button